Category Archives: Book News

Amarna and the Biblical Exodus by Dirk Schroeder

Amazing discoveries of over 35 major links between the enigmatic and beautiful ‘Amarna Period’ of Pharaoh Akhenaten and the Biblical Exodus, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that the Exodus actually happened, and who the relevant Pharaohs were, together with astounding photos and hundreds of translated ancient texts as well as mummy analyses which exactly match the Biblical account in detail and explain the likely motivations and reasons for most of the strange but vitally significant phenomena and features. Other writers have puzzled over Akhenaten’s missing army and gold as well as his monotheism, together with his father’s (Amenhotep III) loss of a firstborn heir… but these things are just the starting point for solid answers in this astounding collection of discoveries. The style of the book is progressive, for the benefit of those less familiar with the topic, whilst providing more scholarly detail as the book progresses.

Click here for an overview of Amarna

Campanile: A Novel by Peter Melaragno

Week of Day of the Dead, 2008; a café on the zócalo in Oaxaca. Ethan is working on a novel. His waitress claims she was with her grandfather in 1996 bidding Ethan farewell in the old bus station. Her name is Dina and he remembers her. As she must continue working, she asks if he might visit her the following day in nearby Mitla, where there is something he should see. And he surely agrees: as far as he understood, young Dina had disappeared in 1996, along with her grandfather, crossing illegally into Texas. But she is nowhere in Mitla and he will never see her again. He does learn in Mitla, however, that Dina’s real name was Ariádina. Thus begins a synaptic pas de deux through Ethan’s memory palace: Ariádina from Oaxaca and Ariadne from Prague, an art student he’d fallen in love with in Paris. It was 1968, August, and the Prague Spring of that year was about to be crushed by invading Soviet tanks. Fearing for her father and brother back in Prague, Ariadne had to go home. After a wrenching farewell high in the belfry of Venice’s Campanile di San Marco, she descended the tower alone. He would never see her again.

Build a Hollywood Cast for Your Favorite Book

Have you ever been reading a book and pictured a certain Hollywood star playing one of the characters? Ever been disappointed with the casting selection when your favorite book is made into a movie?

The Bookcaster allows you to build the perfect Hollywood cast for your favorite book and share it with other fans.

Their goal is to someday influence Hollywood casting decisions based on the opinion of book fans before adaptations are filmed. will be holding a contest in conjunction with The Be sure to check it out in our next newsletter at the end of June.

Read an Excert from Flight of the Golden Harpy by Susan Klaus

Flight of the Golden Harpy1

Kari crouched as motionless as a doll beneath the ferns and stared across the lake carpeted with purple lilies to the trisom trees on the opposite shore. The towering trees swayed in the breeze; their branches overloaded with sweet fruit at this time of the year. After an hour of patient waiting, the eleven-year-old brushed her sweaty locks from her forehead and fretted. Her two-mile hike through Dora’s hot jungle had been in vain. Nothing but birds and small-winged mammals had come and feasted on the fruit.

She heard a pair of squabbling kilts, squirrel-type creatures, and lowered her gaze to watch them as they tussled, rolled, and chased each other up and down the vines. So entranced with the kilts, she failed to notice the male harpy who had flown in and landed in the trisom trees. She rose to leave and saw the flutter of his pale yellow wings before he folded them against his back.

She ducked back down and swallowed. “He’s a golden. A real, true golden harpy,” she muttered, watching him. He picked a ball of fruit, leaned his slender, humanoid frame against the white bark, and nibbled.

Read an Excerpt of Glenn Cooper’s The Tenth Chamber

The Tenth Chamber


The Périgord Region, France, 1899

The two men were breathing hard, scrambling over slippery terrain, struggling to make sense of what they had just seen.

A sudden late-summer rain burst had caught them by surprise. The fast-moving squall moved in while they were exploring the cave, drenching the limestone cliffs, darkening the vertical rock faces and shrouding the Vézère River valley in a veil of low clouds.

Only an hour earlier, from their high perch on the cliffs, the schoolmaster, Édouard Lefevre, had been pointing out landmarks to his younger cousin, Pascal. Church spires far in the distance stood out crisply against a regal sky. Sunbeams glanced the surface of the river.Wholesome barley fields stretched across the flat plain. But when they emerged blinking from the cave, their last wooden match spent, it was almost as if a painter had decided to start again and had brushed over his bright landscape with a grey wash.

The outbound hike had been casual and leisurely but their return journey took on an element of drama as torrents of water cascaded onto the undercliffs, turning their trail muddy and treacherous. Both men were adequate hikers and both had decent shoes but neither was so experienced they would have chosen to be high on a slick ledge in pelting rain. Still, they never considered returning to the cave for shelter.

‘We’ve got to tell the authorities!’ Édouard insisted, wiping his forehead and holding back a branch so Pascal could safely pass.

A Story I Didn’t Tell by Maryka Biaggio

Parlor GamesConsidered a scandalous woman of the Gilded Age, May Dugas had many adventures—and run-ins with the famed Pinkerton Detective Agency. I couldn’t possibly fit all of her escapades into my novel, Parlor Games, but I do have a particular favorite among the untold stories. Here May puts her unique skills to good use and keeps a mother and her children together.

When a good friend of May, a Mrs. Hanna, decided to take her three children abroad for an educational tour, her ex-husband secured two court orders forbidding this travel. Defying his wishes, Mrs. Hanna stole away from Cleveland with the children. Mr. Hanna uncovered her plot to spirit the children to New York City and sail from there. He hired the Pinkertons to help him intercept her.

Mrs. Hanna’s pursuers learned she was staying at the Savoy Hotel in New York and surrounded the hotel to prevent her escape. Then they received a tip: Mrs. Hanna had managed to sail earlier that day on the Menominee. Mr. Hanna and his Pinkerton cohorts rushed to the pier and discovered that the passenger list of the departed ship did not include the Hanna clan. But one other ship, the Campania, was scheduled to depart later that day, and when they discovered Mrs. Hanna’s trunks had been loaded onto it, they boarded the ship and undertook a search. Upon reviewing the ship’s list they found that Mrs. Hanna’s name had been recorded but crossed out. They asked the Captain about this. All he would say is that she was no longer on the list and, furthermore, he was far too busy to stop and talk to them about the ship’s passengers. The Hanna family was in fact on board, and the Pinkertons even identified the rooms they were likely hiding in. But the cabins were locked, and they couldn’t force entry into the rooms of a ship sailing under the British flag.

May Dugas, however, was also on board, and when Mr. Hanna discovered her on deck he summoned the detectives, knowing she was a friend of his wife. He and the detectives queried her: “Is Mrs. Hanna on board?”

“If she is, I do not know it,” she replied.

“Did she sail on the Menominee while booking her baggage on the Campania?”

Carefully choosing her words, May said, “If Mrs. Hanna has left America by now, she must have left on the Menominee.”

The interrogators then asked May if she had concocted the scheme to get Mrs. Hanna’s children out of her husband’s reach, to which May responded, “I am not at liberty to say, for Mrs. Hanna is my friend.”

They had no choice but to leave the ship and watch it sail away.

Then they started wondering if or how Mrs. Hanna could have eluded their watch at the Savoy. They returned and interrogated the staff. There were two possibilities: Either they had been smuggled out in laundry baskets or had exited via a backside passage that took them through several shops before opening onto Fifty-ninth Street. But the hotel staff they questioned steadfastly declined to reveal how they had escaped under the watchful eyes of the Pinkertons.

And that is how the adventure ended. Not only had May succeeded in helping Mrs. Hanna and her children gain passage undetected on the Campania, but she had also assisted her friend—who was handicapped by an arm in a sling and had three sons aged seven, eleven, and thirteen in tow—escape from the Savoy Hotel while it was surrounded by Pinkerton detectives. That May: She was a clever one! I hope you’ll get to know her better when you read Parlor Games.

    About Parlor Games

The novel opens in 1917 with our cunning protagonist, May Dugas, standing trial for extortion. As the trial unfolds, May tells her version of events.

In 1887, at the tender age of eighteen, May ventures to Chicago in hopes of earning enough money to support her family. Circumstances force her to take up residence at the city’s most infamous bordello, but May soon learns to employ her considerable feminine wiles to extract not only sidelong looks but also large sums of money from the men she encounters. Insinuating herself into Chicago’s high society, May lands a well-to-do fiancé—until, that is, a Pinkerton Agency detective named Reed Doherty intervenes and summarily foils the engagement.

Unflappable May quickly rebounds, elevating seduction and social climbing to an art form as she travels the world, eventually marrying a wealthy Dutch Baron. Unfortunately, Reed Doherty is never far behind and continues to track May in a delicious cat-and-mouse game as the newly-minted Baroness’s misadventures take her from San Francisco to Shanghai to London and points in between.

The Pinkerton Agency really did dub May the “Most Dangerous Woman,” branding her a crafty blackmailer and ruthless seductress. To many, though, she was the most glamorous woman to grace high society. Was the real May Dugas a cold-hearted swindler or simply a resourceful provider for her poor family?

As the narrative bounces back and forth between the trial taking place in 1917 and May’s devious but undeniably entertaining path to the courtroom—hoodwinking and waltzing her way through the gilded age and into the twentieth century—we’re left to ponder her guilt as we move closer to finding out what fate ultimately has in store for our irresistible adventuress.

    About the Author

Maryka Biaggio is a former psychology professor turned novelist with a passion for history. Twenty-eight years after launching her academic career she took the leap from full-time academic to scrambling writer and now splits her time between fiction writing and higher education consulting work. More information about Maryka and Parlor Games can be found on, including a discussion guide, historical information, recommended reading and a fun “Parlor Talk” feature. You can also find out more about Parlor Games on Facebook.

Click Here for a Chance to Win a Copy of Parlor Games

52 Days of 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books

52 Reasons to Hate My Father 1 of the 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books….for 51 other reasons, visit The Broke and the Bookish (September 11th) and Electrifying Reviews (September 13th), and Novel Magic (September 14th), and stay tuned for more!

Jessica uses a screenwriting book, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat, to help plot out her manuscripts.

About 52 Reasons to Hate My Father (FSG, July 2012)

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father Excerpt:

52 Reasons to Hate My Father Trailer:

The Making of the 52 Reasons to Hate My Father Book Trailer:


Elmore Leonard Giveaway

Harper Collins is running a cool contest on Killer Instincts this week for awesome Elmore Leonard swag in advance of the new book coming out next week. They are giving away seasons 1 and 2 of Justified on DVD and all of the Raylan Givens backlist – PRONTO, RIDING THE RAP, and FIRE IN THE HOLE. Two additional winners will receive Season 1 of Justified on DVD. The contest is live until Sunday night, January 15th.

Click Here to Enter

World Book Night

World Book Night is an annual celebration designed to spread a love of reading and books. It will be held in the U.S.,the U.K. and Ireland on April 23, 2012.

On World Book Night, 50,000 people named as “book givers” will each be giving away 20 books from a select list with a goal to have 1,000,000 people across the United States alone celebrating reading. People can sign up at by February 1st to apply to be a “book giver.” A complete list of titles being given away can be viewed at:

World Book Night was first launched in the U.K. in 2011.

For questions, please click on this link.

She’s My Dad by Iolanthe Woulff

dad1For decades, ultra-liberal Windfield College has been a thorn in the side of Northern Virginia’s hidebound elite. When a teaching position unexpectedly becomes available, the school hires a former male graduate – now a transsexual woman named Nickie Farrell – as an assistant professor of English. Hoping to find peace, Nickie keeps her secret under wraps until ambitious lesbian student reporter Cinda Vanderhart outs her. And Cinda has noticed something else: both Nickie and a young townie waiter named Collie Skinner have a genetic quirk which causes their eyes to be different colors. Convinced that the similarity is no coincidence, Cinda begins an investigation to discover the connection between them.

Meanwhile, in a death-bed confession as she succumbs to years of brutality at the hands of her disgraced cop husband, Collie’s mother Luanne reveals that his birth resulted from an illicit affair she had with a long-vanished Windfield college senior named Nick Farrington. Shattered by his mother’s death, Collie turns for
comfort to Robin Thompson, a gentle-hearted Christian co-worker at the upper-crust Foxton Arms restaurant. As Nickie is stalked by a pair of homicidal sociopaths, Robin finds herself entangled not only in Cinda’s investigative machinations but also a murderous plot by former U.S Ambassador and tycoon Eamon Douglass to eradicate the hated college with a suicide detonation of a Cesium 137 dirty bomb. Lives and secrets hang in the balance until everything comes to a head on the morning of Windfield’s annual spring picnic: April Fools Day.

Filled with richly-drawn characters and building to a stunning climax, SHE’S MY DAD is a story about the destructiveness of hate, the power of love, and the redemptive triumph of good over evil.